Streamlining Ops & Check-in Yields Broader Business Benefits

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Streamlining Ops & Check-in Yields Broader Business Benefits

By Kim Rittenberry, General Manager, SoBro Guest House - 04/04/2018

Most companies say they value work/life balance. However, achieving true work/life balance for a hotel operations manager is not only elusive but also extraordinarily difficult. While most employers realize that building consistency and flexibility into any operation leads to higher performance, the question becomes: How can hotel management foster this for staff members, and how can technology be utilized?   

Imagine if your hotel managers no longer had to choose between work and their personal lives, especially when  “life happens?”  As that employee settles into a dependable routine, they would have the confidence of knowing that they could make adjustments if needed. In turn, they become more reliable and more equipped to handle the stress often inherent in the hospitality industry.  True work/life balance occurs when employees feel assured that they do not need to let personal needs detract from professional ones, or vice versa.

Technology exists today that allows hotel operators to offer employees this reality. At SoBro Guest House, we achieved better employee work/life balance by eliminating the front desk entirely. We didn’t even bother to build one. By implementing the mobile PMS and guest engagement solutions from StayNTouch (www.stayntouch.com), we were able to design an operation that allows employees to work remotely through a virtual platform. We successfully achieved a virtual front desk and concierge at our hotel where 100% of the guests use our mobile check-in service. 

By eliminating the front desk, our management team can operate the hotel anywhere at anytime. There is no need to fight morning rush hour traffic, and  the stress of childcare is relieved as managers have the flexibility to be at home when needed. We have given them the freedom to handle life as it comes without needing to worry how they can manage the needs of their job at the same time.  

This type of flexibility, trust, and teamwork has created a positive atmosphere where managers give more of themselves everyday, their dedication and commitment is stronger, and they enthusiastically approach challenges with an enhanced level of creativity and innovation. 

As an added benefit, each hotel manager is able to expand interests and talents by taking on additional roles, like revenue management, sales, and accounting. Instead of being pigeon-holed into one discipline, our managers are able to take a broader approach to running the business and apply themselves in ways that would be more difficult in a traditionally structured hotel. We were able to rethink our approach, remove barriers, and streamline operations by embracing the ways technology has fundamentally changed the guest experience. The result is a rewarding environment that has proved successful for hotel performance, guest experience, and the enjoyment of our employees. 

What was your first job?
My hospitality career began as a front office manager for the Riviera Hotel and Casino.

What technologies excite you?
It all excites me! Most recently, I have taken advantage of the fact I’m able to both run my hotel and also attend school at WGU, all through virtual platforms.  

Sage Advice: 
The beauty of our industry is that it is limited only to the courage you possess to be tenacious about change.

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